Hydroponic Nutrients - Earth Juice

by Jen
(Colorado)

We are doing a hydroponic vegetable system, and we have recently switched from Ionics hydroponic nutrients to Earth Juice, and we are having a horrible time getting our plants to grow. They act over fertilized, and we flush but it doesn't seem to help a lot! We have also changed our lightning system- could any of this be the problem? We are having problems finding good info on Earth Juice, even at their site.



Answer: Jen- Earth Juice is all organic, so many of the nutrients may not actually register when you measure your nutrient solution strength with an EC meter or TDS meter. You will definitely want to start on the low side and work your way up. Once fertilizer burn happens from over-fertilization, you will have a terrible time trying to get anything to grow properly....flushing will not help speed up recover (it will only prevent further damage). If the damage was significant, it could take several weeks for them to recover. If the damage was severe, they may not recover!

Another thing with Earth Juice is the pH....it needs a LOT of adjustment and maintenance. Be sure to check and adjust your nutrient strength and pH at least once a day. I have more detailed information on maintaining your nutrient solution properly on my how to grow hydro page, in case you are interested.

In general, your plant growth problems are probably not associated with the changing of your grow light. This is assuming that your plants are receiving approximately the same amount of light as they were before. With less light your plants will require slightly less fertilizer, and with more light your plants will use slightly more fertilizer, but the difference should not be big enough to cause plant growth problems like you are having. Your problem is almost certainly over-fertilization or pH related.

Lastly, make sure you are using the complete fertilizer line. In hydroponics, the plants rely on you to provide them with ALL of the required nutrients in the water. If you are using the hydroponic nutrients in any non-standard way, it is possible your plants are not growing properly because of a nutrient deficiency. If it is any consolation, I myself had the same problem many years ago when I switched from B.C. Nutrients to Earth Juice for a short time. Turns out the recommended doses on the bottles were way to high for the plants I was growing, and at the time I did not realize that some organic nutrients do not show up on a TDS meter (which only made the situation that much worse). I hope this helps you out Jen, and Happy Growing!

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Oct 02, 2011
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using Earth Juice and PH going up
by: Fletcher

If I am using Earth Juice how do I tell when I need to add nutrients? My PH rises everyday..am I doing something wrong or is this an indication of a problem...it is hard for me to get down to 6.5...system reverts to 7 overnite.

Thanks
Fletcher

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Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 22 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.

I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 20 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).

And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.



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Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!


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This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It's a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It's natural. it's spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.

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